Cork’s Billy Twomey and Tipperary’s Denis Lynch will bid for the 2011 Rolex FEI World Cup trophy at Leipzig in Germany, beginning on Thursday, with a series of challenging competitions that climax on Sunday afternoon.
Lynch and Twomey were amongst the top 20 riders in Europe to qualify for the final, and a total of 43 international riders from 21 nations will take part.
Riders will begin with a speed class this afternoon, and then go through to a bigger jump-off competition on Friday.
Points calculated from these two competitions will allow only the top two thirds through to Sunday’s Grand Prix final, which will be held over two gruelling rounds. Only 15 will qualify for the second round, and the rider with the minimum number of accumulated faults at the end of the competition will be declared the 2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Final champion.
Ireland has come agonisingly close to winning the World Cup Final on several occasions. Last year Co. Down’s Dermott Lennon finished in fifth place overall at Geneva in Switzerland, one of just four Irish riders to finish in the top six since 1979, with Eddie Macken taking an equal third that year, Trevor Coyle placing second in 1999, and Jessica Kurten claiming second place in 2006, and equal fourth in 2008.
Last night Twomey, who is ranked fifth in the current World Cup standings, said at Leipzig: “I’m in it to win, and hopefully my horses can keep up the form they’ve been in, and we can give it a proper go.”